Many of my childhood hours were spent playing with Barbie and her friends, living out my career (and wardrobe) fantasies. Over the years, outfit styles have changed, even Barbie herself has evolved with the times. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or you have a mini Barbie fan in your family, a trip to Montreal calls for a visit to the Barbie Expo.
Located within downtown Montreal’s Les Cours Mont-Royal mall you’ll find Barbie Expo, the largest permanent exhibit of Barbie dolls in the world. When we discovered the exhibit was a 10-minute walk from Hotel le Crystal where we were staying, we ventured over in the cold wind for a peek. Even if you’re not familiar with the mall, the signage for the exhibit on the exterior of the building will make it easy. Inside, however, the signage isn’t as clear but walking around the mall is an easy sacrifice to find the exhibit. I love how the mall incorporates the surrounding buildings and the chandelier on the third level is worth the escalator ride up.
But I digress. The Barbie Expo is located in a back corner on the second floor of the mall. The exhibit space is deceptively larger, about 5,000 square feet, but the layout with the cabinets and central water feature give it an intimate feel. The exhibit is free through donations for Make-A-Wish (Quebec) are greatly accepted.
Travel the world as you pass Barbie outfitted to represent different countries. See brands like Disney, Coca Cola and Harley Davidson portrayed in Barbie outfits. You’ll also see outfits created by designers like Vera Wang, Givenchy and my favourite Bob Mackie. I also enjoyed seeing pop culture themes like the X-Files, Star Trek and Hollywood films depicted in Barbie form.
Along with the individual Barbies there are a few scenes set-up including the amazing fashion show that greets you when you enter the exhibit.
I thought our visit to the Barbie Expo would be fun and a quick stop but instead we were mesmerized by the detail on each of the Barbie outfits, spending almost an hour walking around the space.
And end your visit with the best souvenir of all, a Barbie photo opp.
For more details on the the Barbie Expo visit expobarbie.ca